Friday, January 23, 2015

January is Design Week, Part 2

[this is retroactive - it was written the day of]

I did it! I did it and I am alive! The last 3 days I've been in the shop till 11 pm and going to sleep at between 1 and 2 am, because I write daily. 

Sorry, no pics. I have to download and edit - and that takes time. 

6 hours to assemble deliver and install a large platform, that had to be very accurate + floor it + edge it. 

The Dinner by Design install went really well. First of all - I got back to my roots....those beautiful floors. This time, first time ever I installed Moncer flooring product - oiled white oak, 6 inch wide, engineered, solid wood [I will write how nicely it is made and how luxurious it is in another entry!]. Just for this job I had my flooring gun serviced - it's been awhile - just so it operated perfectly - I could not risk a misfiring ruining a board - there were no extras. There were 24* rows exactly, all the boards were labeled, in sequence. There was a row A, and a row B. And between row J and K there was a special row that had the boards laid out for notches around the columns - and the columns have no bigger reveals than 3/16th - that's very small. There were special instructions that there will be no trim around those columns - that came from above. And the columns do look very clean and modern - well resolved. Hey! - I only executed someone elses vision on this one - but it was my best execution. I made this crazy looking jig, but it is crazy only because it was efficiently fabricated - 15 min - while for a more 'traditional looking' jig would have taken an hour. 


I admit, I felt the pressure. For this successful execution under these conditions, absolutely every detail had to be thought out in advanced and an optimum solution achieved. Like, it turns out the the sprinkler system at the Design Exchange might be triggered by the fine dust that results from cutting or using the router. I had to pre-cut every line of flooring to within a 16th of an inch - in the 200k square feet flooring career, I have never done that. When they said - 'no cutting' I was like - 'So how the hell am I gonna do it?'




But you know what the really cool and very rewarding part of this project was?

I got to work with this really cool and fun team from KPMB Architects. Because other than for the base, flooring, metalworking, they still needed to setup the graphics, wire all the fancy lights, someone had to make tough calls - all under the 6 hour deadline. What a great team! They complement each other so well!  So much fun to work with them! I found it incredibly humorous, when one of them, with a very serious tone and face expression assured me that 'they are a serious firm', they don't consider themselves 'a fun office' - which immediately brought an image of a 'trendy, brick walled loft filled with hipsters on Macintosh computers' to my mind - 'it's about the work'. I was chuckling on the inside for so long. Such a good dynamic and camaraderie - no wonder that KPMB produces such nice architecture - no detail left out - even the envelope that I got with the deposit was really nice and had a watermark [!]. 

I was so impressed with that envelope - it really set the standard.

Any time there was an issue, they always had a solution. Like, where do we find a parking for a big truck? Hey! There is an open lot, just behind a new condo building - fits there*! - and it just around the corner! - so I don't have to drive across the city, as was suggested, and walk back - downtown Toronto, tall truck parking is an issue. Routing** the flooring planks for the columns and the flush-trim bit slices the electrical cord rendering the tool useless - my carelessness - IDIOT! - one of them just goes back and re-wires it so the by the time I get around to the second column - it's all done. I felt as if I had personal assistants on this job - everything was ready for me, passed to my hand - the floor, all million individually labeled pieces, almost laid itself. And it was needed - those 6 hours flew by - success!

Hey! - I Loved being part of their team. I was honoured to work with such a talented, eager and handy bunch of architects and one interior designer. 

I want to do jobs like these. 

At the end of the day - late evening - when I emptied the truck of tools and put them away, adjusted the heat, shut the lights off in the shop - I sighed, looked up at the frozen sky and said to myself - 'This is life. I love it! I'm a fighter and that's the best chance I've got!' Then I snuck into Charles' shop, next door - he was still tinkering with something - said goodnight to my friend and headed home to sleep it all off....Tomorrow is another day...

*we were charged double the money 'because it is a big truck'
**I routed in an adjacent storage room